Monthly Archives March 2017

Insomnia: Vata Or Pitta Imbalance? [The Path Of The Yoga Therapist]

Listen in as Brandt discusses how insomnia, like many conditions, might look like a vata imbalance, but there is often a pitta imbalance at the root of the issue.



Brandt: I’ve seen a  lot of people with insomnia with pitta imbalance. So that’s very typical

Student: It seems kind of vata to me

Brandt: why? 

Student: Just because they’re very scattered and can’t settle 

Brandt: Ya but what I’ve found just in practice is that it’s a sort of controlling your energy issue. So often you’ll see this a lot in our course, but often Pitta always almost, Pitta imbalances, overactive pitta will imbalance vata. So it looks like a vata issue and all the vata pacifying practices help the person but the real solution is actually getting their pitta under control. 

Student: um Hmm

Brandt: So that’s not every person who has insomnia. But that’s often. And you just see that over and over again where basically you do tones of vata balancing practices and the person’s like 30% better and you’re like oh good but then it stops. And that’s because you have to address you know the sort of analogy that’s always used is like pitta’s fire right and it moves the air above it right 

Student: Right

Brandt: so we have that issue. So that’s what I’ve seen and that might be to be honest I suspect that’s kind of a Western problem. Because there’s a lot of pitta imbalance in the West just cause the way we live and overactivity. So that’s why I’ve seen it over and over again. But I’ve seen other things you know but I see why you’d say that’s like disorganization 

Student: Um Hmm

Brandt: Insomnia, but often that’s coming from something deeper. So it’s always interesting to me how you know how when you work that way we often do things that you wouldn’t suspect like you’re doing something like you’re sensitizing the person to themselves so there’s a big piece of work there where you’re getting the person to feel their own heat and to leave it in their belly 

Student: Hmm

Brandt: and that’s really hard for people. So it’s a big education for them. It basically forces them to get in touch with their energy and where it is right? While they’re doing things that we do that in asana, we do that in pranayama, you’ll see as you go forward but um and that solves a lot of problems. 

Student: Um Hmm

Brandt: It’s even one of my sort of favourite parts of yoga therapy *laughing* this like solving the Pitta problem.

Yoga Therapy For Trauma [Empowering Change]

In this video segment taken from a BDYT Q&A session, Brandt discusses how a Yoga Therapist can hold space for a client to process a traumatic experience.

Kathy: What about people that have maybe been burying their…you know, something terrible happened and they’ve just been buried.

Brandt: Yeah, it’s trauma. Yeah, this happens all the time.

Kathy: So how do they safely let it, kind of, move through them if it’s been retraumatizing them for years.

Brandt: Yeah. I mean, people have different ways of looking at that but I think that’s why people need help, because they need somebody else to hold space that’s safe for them, which is where we come in. Right?

Kathy: And you think breathwork is the strongest way to help people with that?

Brandt: No. I mean, it usually comes into play. But what’s important is that they sort of…I mean, I think people, when they let the balloon out slowly, are able to handle it, right? So they have, sort of lots and lots of mini sort of recognitions, breakdowns, experiences. Even if they’re intense but they’re not the whole thing and they are completely clear that they’re in an environment where they’re being helped. You know what I mean? Where they’re safe. Even if it doesn’t feel like that to them. So just that… I mean, there’s a lot of…it’s interesting because massage therapists talk about this a lot because people have big experiences on their massage table, but they’re not purposely doing any kind of trauma work, right? They’re just sort of holding a space for the person where they can sort of physically let out their trauma. But they’re not doing any particular techniques or you know what I mean.

But in the massage community, there’s a lot of talk of that because people, massage therapists, experience this and they talk about how to just sort of hold this space and keep it super safe. And so we do that except we give people practices to not only experience these things and sort of let them out as you’re saying, but then also re-ground themselves. Because that’s what gives you confidence, right? You have an experience, you relive a trauma, and then you do a practice that re-grounds you. So you might not feel awesome… but you feel like, “Oh wow, I experienced that.” Because the experience of the trauma, right, is not that. The experience of the trauma is you experience the trauma and then it was bad from then on. There’s no point where you got re-grounded. So now you’re creating a new storyline where I experience the trauma or re-experience the trauma on some level and now I’m okay, like, I can take care of myself. That’s hugely healing, as you can imagine.

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